This blog is devoted to discussing the pursuit of eternal life.
Discussion and participation by readers is desired,
but contributions should correlate to the book,
The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology
of Perseverance & Assurance

by
Thomas R. Schreiner
& Ardel B. Caneday



Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Finally, Evangelical Leaders Speak Out

Many weeks ago, twice I addressed "A Common Word between Us and You'" and the response it received from Christians, ranging from liberals to evangelicals. I called attention to the fact that many evangelicals endorsed this compromising document in "An Urgent Need for Steadfast Perseverance" and later I discussed more details about the document and accompanying documents in "Be Reconciled to God."

At last two prominent evangelical leaders have also addressed the issue and the fact that evangelical leaders have endorsed the politically correct statement that compromises singular devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ. Find a videao response by John Piper here and here. Find a response by Al Mohler via MP3 here.

Also, take a look at
RESPONSE TO OPEN LETTER AND CALL FROM MUSLIM RELIGIOUS LEADERS TO CHRISTIAN LEADERS, 13 OCTOBER 2007 on the Barnabas Fund.

Brian McLaren was one of the original signatories on
the response to "A Common Word between Us and You'". He has written a three-part piece to critics of evangelicals who endorsed the response to the Muslim clerics. See "A Dialogue too Friendly for Focus on the Family"; "Arab Christians Worship Allah Too", and "Does Humility Risk More Than Arrogance? " Take note of McLaren's anemic responses to crtics of the document he endorsed. Whether all other critics have entertained all the questions that McLaren raises, I do not know. I can, however says, yes, I have thought through everyone of the questions that McLaren raises and a whole lot more questions that he seems not to have entertained himself.

3 comments:

Ieremias said...

Wow. When you wrote on this topic a little over a month ago, I was saddened by what I read and heard, and was even more discouraged by the lack of interaction from Christian leaders. Praise God that Piper and Mohler have been leaders to reverse that tide.

It seems as though McLaren and others that I have talked to emphasize the following points as to why they signed (or would sign) the statement:

1.) They have a desire for peace. What could be so wrong with that? As soon as men like Piper and Mohler give their critiques, they are immediately labeled as "divisive" and "disrupters of the peace."

2.) Muslims and Christians worship the same God expressed in different ways. (The ludicracy of this statement is extraordinarily evident).

If you run into people that do not agree with #2, they will usually turn to #3.

3.) Sure, Allah is not the same as the Lord Most High, but the Christian document simply states our union with Muslims as a "love for God and a love for neighbors." These are building blocks upon which we can have dialogue. (I would argue that this wording is disingenuous and misleading, for it implies that we both worship the TRUE GOD, which we do not. We therefore do not have union in these things. Furthermore, true reconciliation can only occur through God's Son, Jesus Christ, and his work accomplished on the cross.)

4.) (This stems from the previous three points) All they want is dialogue; how can we reject their right-hand of fellowship by quarreling over terminology?

All this is to say, it is very alarming what is happening in Christian circles. It is troubling that so many leaders have been taken. It is more disconcerting that many of my friends see nothing wrong with what is said by the Christian response. May God have mercy on us and open our eyes to the exclusivity and primacy of his Son, Jesus Christ!

Ieremias said...

I was going to ask you, Dr. Caneday, aside from McLaren, have you heard any of the other leaders give their justification as to why they signed the document? If not, do you have any hunches? Some of the names on the document are rather surprising.

A. B. Caneday said...

Very well said, Jerry.

I have not had an opportunity to speak with any of the signatories, though some are friends, friends whom I see about once a year.

Take a look here to read comments where I engage some folks who defend signatories.

I want to be generous. I fear that many evangelical signatories simply did not apprehend that they were compromising their devotion to Christ by signing the document. If they actually understood the significance and meaning of crucial elements in the document, I cannot imagine that they would have added their signatures.

Political correctness has the power to blind us to the truth. The desire not to offend Muslims or any other politicized group (this is what is entailed in political correctness) generates a strong magnetic field that will pull us in, unless we guard ourselves carefully against lapses of loyalty to our Lord.